September 10, 2023
“Saul died for his unfaithfulness to the Lord because he did not keep the Lord’s word. He even consulted a medium for guidance, but he did not inquire of the Lord.”
Never miss an episode when you
subscribe & turn on notifications for YouTube!
“Saul died for his unfaithfulness to the Lord because he did not keep the Lord’s word. He even consulted a medium for guidance, but he did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.” 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 (HCSB)
In my years of ministry, I have served at many funerals. And funerals can bring out the worst of people. I recall one hot summer afternoon at a national cemetery in Riverside, California, when family members got into a fistfight over who owned dad’s Lincoln Continental. On another occasion, I watched a falcon shoot out of a tree and attack one of the doves released at the memorial of an Air Force fighter pilot. Somewhat fitting, I suppose. The dove owner screamed, “NO!” but the old pilot’s kids laughed and said, “That’s so like our dad! He would have hated doves.”
One afternoon, I was summoned to the office of a pastor who wanted to discuss the music for an upcoming funeral of a lady who had passed away in her mid-50s. “That is really young,” I noted. He replied, “Yeah. Lung cancer. Cigarettes killed her.” The same could be said of Saul. Saul’s own sword did him in, and Philistine arrows brought him to the point of suicide. But it was the idolatry that killed him.
How did Saul, the Lord’s anointed king for Israel, fall out of the Lord’s protection and provision? He simply began disregarding God’s Word. Ignoring God’s Word led to Saul’s seeking wicked counsel, literally a witch! Then, he became the ultimate mocker of God’s Word when he began pursuing David, who was so steeped in God’s Word (at that season of his life) to the point that he would not even fight back against Saul. Perhaps that is why David wrote song #1 in Israel’s hymnal because it mentions the same downward pattern for anyone who departs from the Bible.
“How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 (HCSB)
With that in mind, consider Messiah Jesus’ description of how His followers should equate Bible pursuit (and its faithful application to their lives) with loving Him.
“Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23 (HCSB)
Jesus isn’t saying that we are saved by obeying His Word. We are saved by Grace through Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). In essence, He is saying, “If you are truly saved, you should pursue My Word with the intent to know it, live according to it, and share it with others.” If rejecting the Word led to Saul’s death, consider Ezra’s life.
“Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.” Ezra 7:10 (HCSB)